RailPictures.Net Photo: NH 3025 Valley Railroad Steam 2-8-2 at Centerbrook, Connecticut by Kevin Madore
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» Valley Railroad (more..)
» Steam 2-8-2 (more..)
» Dennison Road 
» Centerbrook, Connecticut, USA (more..)
» November 25, 2018
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
» NH 3025 (more..)
» NPE-1 (more..)
» Kevin Madore (more..)
» Contact Photographer · Photographer Profile 
Remarks & Notes 
NPE-1, the first of 9 trips. It's just past 3PM and the first of 9 North Pole Express Trips out of Essex is heading north to North Chester behind Valley Railroad Mikado #3025, seen here passing under the Dennison Road overpass.

Over the past 10 years, the Christmas Train business at The Valley has grown by leaps and bounds. It started with just one train-set, doing 2 trips a night at 5PM and 7PM Then, after a couple of years and the realization that additional business was there, a second train-set was added, permitting two more trips at 5:30PM and 7:30PM. Despite doubling their capacity, the railroad continued to hear from potential patrons that they still couldn't get tickets, and about 2 years ago, they added a couple of earlier trips at 3PM and 3:30PM on weekends only, using the same train-sets. Still turning business away, and with limited schedule options to maintain the desired dusk/night-time atmosphere, the railroad decided in 2018 to perform a 1,472 Service Day Inspection on the long-dormant Locomotive #97, and purchase enough passenger coaches to add yet a third train-set, making 3 more trips possible, again, on the weekends and selected weeknights. So, in 2018, the Valley Railroad was running 4 North Pole Express Trains each weeknight, and 9 such trains on the weekends. Some extras were also added on the weeknights, when the demand was there. Got all that? Even the crews were tucking schedules into their caps to keep it all straight. It's a classic "if you build it, they will come" story and one that definitely warms the hearts of steam fanatics like myself.

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